Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada created the largest mural in New York City today. “Reflection” stands at 44 meters high and 53 meters wide on the Westin NY Grand Central Hotel in Manhattan. The ONG Street Art For Mankind commissioned it for its 100th year anniversary. Simultaneously, it was also curated in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation of the United Nations. The mural features half of a white caucasian child’s face with big blue eyes. Rodríguez-Gerada painted scenarios of child-trafficking victims within the iris of both his pupils. With such, he’s advocating against child-trafficking and child labor, which are both rampant in the city itself. “We have one child who is probably safe, but there’s actually child trafficking going on in NY city as we speak. We can’t assume that it’s just a problem from somewhere else, there’s also a problem in our own backyards.” shared the muralist.
The International Labour Organisation counted 215 million children in child slavery and labor back in 2012. 22,000 of them die each year. This new artwork pushes to emphasize this great danger, not just within the confines of New York City, but also around the world. “One with the things I was very, very happy with SAM is that they are actually raising funds to actively raid and rescue. I mean: think about that. That’s not just talking. That’s direct action.” Rodríguez-Gerada relayed about his latest partnership with the organization. Incidentally, he finished the mural just in time for the World Day Against Child Labour, celebrated every June 12.As of this writing, there’s no word yet as to how long this mural will stay up. However, multiple locals and tourist began visiting the site, taking pictures of its full scope.
- Images of “Reflect” mural – Graffiti Street.com
- Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada – Widewalls.ch